Southerners more concerned about ID theft
Southerners are more concerned than average about having their ID stolen but are less likely to know how to protect themselves from ID thieves than they were three months ago according to MyCallcredit's quarterly ID theft survey.
Its research found that 78.4 per cent of Southerners were concerned about having their ID stolen compared to 71.5 per cent nationally.
But 17.3 per cent of Southerners, down from 24.8 per cent in July, said they knew exactly what to do to prevent them becoming a victim of ID fraud compared to 16.9 per cent nationally.
And 73 per cent of Southerners were confident they would know if they'd been a victim of ID fraud within the first few weeks compared to 71.8 per cent nationwide. But in reality it can take many months for someone to become aware they have been a victim of ID theft.
MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:
"Southerners are more worried about having their ID stolen than average. But when asked about three different ways to minimise the risk they scored below average when questioned about checking their credit file regularly.
"You can protect yourself from ID thieves by shredding financial documents, cancelling unused credit facilities and checking your credit file regularly."
- People in Yorkshire and Lancashire are most worried about having their ID stolen with 44 per cent and 43 per cent respectively saying they were very concerned about ID theft compared to a national average of 34.9 per cent and 33.9 per cent in the South.
- Scots are now the least worried about having their ID stolen with just 24.5 per cent saying they were very concerned compared to 53.1 per cent three months ago.
- Women remain more concerned about having their identity stolen than men, 76.6 per cent against 66.4 per cent.
- More than 10 per cent more women than men again identified that shredding financial documents would help to prevent ID theft.
- 83.9 per cent of Southerners identified that shredding financial documents would help to minimise the risk of ID theft compared to a national average of 82.3 per cent.
- 66.9 per cent of people nationally said checking your credit file regularly would minimise the risk of ID fraud compared to 60.2 per cent in the South.
- 66.8 per cent of Southerners thought cancelling unused credit and charge cards would reduce the risk of ID theft compared to 62.5 per cent nationally.
- Those aged 55 to 64 were most worried their ID would be stolen with 46.9 per cent saying they were very concerned. Three months ago the group that felt most at risk was aged between 45 and 54.
- Youngsters remained the least concerned about their ID with only 16.2 per cent claiming they were worried compared to 34.9 per cent across all age groups.
- 48 per cent of the population thought they would become aware in a matter of days if their identity had been stolen compared to 46.3 per cent in the South.
- 23.1 per cent of people in the South said they were not sure when they'd become aware their identity had been stolen compared to 24.5 per cent nationally.
How to protect yourself from ID fraud
- Shred any personal documents before disposing of them.
- Be vigilant, log on to www.mycallcredit.com and check your credit file.
- The research was carried out by NEMS market research for Callcredit between 4 and 8 October 2005 among a representative sample of 1000 people.
- A report by personal protection advisers, the CPP Group found that it took 480 days or 16 months to discover identity theft.
- It can take a typical ID fraud victim 60 hours to prove their innocence (Source CIFAS).